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Imagery is one of the primary engines of memoir. Imagery makes a story come alive—painting a picture of the physical world in the reader's mind. Imagery can serve as a symbol for a deeper, emotional meaning too. Imagery may be lyrical, informational, or sensory… but there should be some weight to it, some intuitive sense or 'hunch' that it is important to the piece. Imagery can often reel the reader into the story more immediately than direct explaining or telling can. 

Create a list of images that symbolize one or more of the following:
  • Shock
  • Toughness
  • Loyalty
  • Embarrassment
  • Intrigue
  • Glee

Example: Shock

Jancy tried to walk. The earth and the asphalt were spongy. She moved around the car and saw first the moonish curve of the dented fender. The door was crumpled where the deer had bounced back and slammed into her. Jancy imagined its flanks, the hard mounds of its rump. The sheen of it. She staggered and stepped back. The sudden cushion of the grass surprised her and she fell. She saw then the sweep of short hairs glistening along the length of the car. The door handle was packed and smeared with golden feces. 
(From Jayne Anne Phillip's short story “The Heavenly Animal”)